The body of a 16-year-old Mansfield teen fatally shot during an argument about a basketball game in a San Antonio suburb is coming home to be buried, friends and family said.
Favian Ramirez moved to San Antonio a few months ago to live with and get to know his father better, said his mother, Rosa Ramirez.
“Favian’s father and I are not talking a lot right now,” Ramirez said. “He was excited about getting to spend some time with him. He liked it there.”
Ramirez enrolled in high school, joined the football team and was making friends, his mother said.
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A gunshot to the chest ended his life about 2:20 p.m. on Oct. 27 at John H. Sterling Memorial Park, which is located in the 3200 block of Alan Shepard Drive in Kirby, according to a San Antonio Express News story. A 16-year-old suspect, who police said fought with Ramirez during a basketball game, then left and returned with a gun, has been detained in connection with Ramirez’s death, a Bexar County District Attorney’s Office official said.
Kirby is a suburb of more than 8,500 residents about 8 miles northeast of San Antonio.
“His father told me over the phone that someone had shot my son,” Ramirez said. “He killed him that afternoon in broad daylight. I’ve heard that maybe 20 people were there at the park when it happened.”
There was an entire new wing of Ramirez’s family that he was excited to get to know, said Felix Salas, Favian’s brother. Salas, 23, said Ramirez had a brother, a sister he barely knew and cousins to meet. And at more than 6-feet and 200 pounds, Ramirez was excited about playing football, Salas said.
“He was my big little brother,” Salas said. “When he got down there he started really working out because his dad and his cousins were really into it. They would get up in the morning and go running. He would call and say I’m bigger now. I’ve been working out.”
Ramirez came back to visit once since he moved, said his friend and classmate, Ruben Benavidez, 16. Benavidez, who said he has lost other friends and family through violence, found out about his friend’s death in a text message.
“I didn’t want to believe it,” Benavidez said. “We were more than friends. He was more like a brother. I just hope his momma can get better. That she can get past all the pain she’s going through.”
Michael Arnold, 61, a family friend, said his grandson, Johnathon Arnold, 15, has known Ramirez since kindergarten. The boy helped him with small repairs around the house, said Arnold, who is disabled.
“I can’t forget his smile,” Arnold said. “He was kind of like a big teddy bear. He was kind to everyone, but you wouldn’t want to poke him with a stick. He was like those pandas at the zoo. They look real cuddly but you don’t want to climb in the cage with them.”
Calls to officials with the Kirby Police Department, which is investigating the shooting, were not immediately returned.
The 16-year-old suspect in Ramirez’s slaying did not have a conflict with him, said Pablo Uresti, the attorney representing the juvenile in this case. His client was not at the park during the shooting and had received threatening text messages from someone who wanted to meet him at the park and fight, Uresti said.
“My client ignored the text and did not go to the park,” Uresti said. “There was no reason for my client to go after the victim. Other than fighting in school, he’s never been in any trouble before.”
At a detention hearing on Monday, the judge ordered that the 16-year-old suspect in Ramirez’s slaying remain in custody of the Bexar County juvenile authorities, Uresti said. Another detention hearing is scheduled for Nov. 14, Uresti said.
“The judge found probable cause to hold my client for his own protection and for the protection of the community,” Uresti said.
A balloon release is scheduled in Ramirez’s honor at 5 p.m. Friday at Katherine Rose Memorial Park in Mansfield, Rosa Ramirez said. Anyone who knew him, who attended Lake Ridge High School in Mansfield, or who wants to support the family, is welcome to attend, the mother said.
Ramirez said she is unsure at this time if she will attend if a trial is held for her son’s killer. The day she was told of his death, Ramirez said all of the words drained away from her. But with support from her family and her son’s friends, life has become a little more bearable, Ramirez said.
“It makes you want to cling to your children a little more, hug them a little more,” Ramirez said. “That’s the effect it’s had on our family. Because you never know what the next day may bring.”